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Six key questions you must ask in your accident investigation to compile a valid accident report

by , 18 May 2015
One of your employees falls off a ladder at work. He's limping a bit and seems to have hurt his ankle, but not too seriously.

So you follow your health and safety process and document the fact that he fell, including the date and time.

But then you find out that he actually tore a ligament and now needs a full accident report to claim for COID. A full report you don't have!

According to labourguide.co.za, there are six questions you need to ask during your accident investigation to make sure your accident reports are valid...

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Six questions you need to ask during your accident investigation

1. Who
•    was injured?
•    saw the incident?
•    was working with him/her?
•    had instructed, trained, assigned the affected person/
•    else was involved?
•    Can help prevent the re-occurrence?

2. What
•    was the injury/illness?
•    was being done at time of injury or incident?
•    were they told to do so?
•    tools were being used?
•    machinery was involved?
•    operation was being performed?
•    instruction had been given?
•    precautions were given?
•    precautions were necessary?
•    PPE was used or should have been used?
•    problems or questions was encountered?
•    did the employee and others do after the incident?
•    did witnesses see?
•    will be done to prevent re-occurrences.
•    safety rules or procedures were violated?
•    safety rules or procedures were lacking?
•    safety rules or procedures were needed?
•    additional training should be included?

3. When
•    did the injury or incident occur?
•    did the employee begin the task?
•    was the employee assigned to the task?
•    were the hazard or risk pointed out to the employee?
•    did the supervisor last check on the employee's progress?
•    did the employee last notice that something is wrong?
•    was appropriate training provided?
•    was a risk assessment done?

Read on for the other three questions you need to answer...

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Three more questions you need to answer for your accident investigation report to be valid

4. Why
•    was the employee injured?
•    did the employee behave that way?
•    did other persons behave that way?
•    was PPE not used?
•    were specific instructions not given to the employee?
•    was the employee in that position/place?
•    did the employee continue working under the circumstance?
•    was the employee allowed to continue working?
•    wasn't the supervisor there at the time?

5. Where
•    did the injury or incident occur?
•    was the employee at the time of the incident?
•    was the supervisor at the time of the incident?
•    were co-workers at the time of the incident?
•    were the witnesses when the incident occurred?

6. How
•    was the employee injured?
•    could the injury/illness have been avoided?
•    could co-workers avoid similar injury/illness?
•    could the supervisor have prevented the injury/illness?

Make sure you answer all of the above when investigating any major or minor accident at your workplace. And ensure your accident investigation reports are accepted by COID! If you're unsure of what else you need to be COID compliant, click here.

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